- There are no specific “rules” that dictate the way in which a backsplash should be designed, aside from assuring that your materials are water-resistant and that they are installed securely. A long “run” of backsplash, which runs the length of the two walls that meet to form the corner, can add a sense of visual continuity to the room, making it seem larger. A short backsplash that covers only the areas directly behind the vanity will draw the eye to the vanity, giving it more weight in the room. Deciding how tall or short to make the backsplash also affects the feel of the room; a tall backsplash – extending from floor to ceiling – adds a finished look, while a short backsplash is more subtle. A short backsplash, however, should be finished with the same paint or wallpaper as the rest of the room to the edges of the tile, and these finishes may need to be touched up or replaced for frequently due to drips that hit over or run down the backsplash.
- You can choose from a wide variety of materials to create an effective and beautiful backsplash, including tiles made of ceramic, stone, glass or stainless steel – or a any combination of these. Look for tiles that are thinner than the usual 1/4-inch thick ceramic tiles used in bathrooms, because these will noticeably stand out from the wall. If you can’t find thinner tiles to your liking, you can use rounded edge “bullnose” tiles as an edging for the backsplash to ease the profile and give a cleaner transition from wall to backsplash.
Colors and Textures
- The colors and textures of the tiles affect the look and feel of the room. Use tiles made of materials that complement or bridge other fixtures in the room, in a color palette echoed by the walls or upholstery in the room, for a neutral, traditional look. A backsplash constructed of mixed materials in a mosaic or planned –simple as a checkerboard -- pattern adds personality and makes the corner vanity a focal point. Highly polished tiles are sleek and modern looking, while organic, rough or textured tiles present an earthy and casual feeling.
- Always lay out your tile pattern first, to ensure all the tiles fit well and conform to your needed measurements. Remove any old tile from the area, as well as the switch plates or outlet covers. Sand the area using 80-grit sandpaper, and wipe clean with a damp rag. Apply a thin layer of mastic or thinset. Set your tiles into the mastic or thinset from the bottom moving upward. Allow the tiles to set overnight, and fill the gaps between the tiles using grout. Seal the gap between the backsplash and vanity countertop using a caulk that matches your grout.